Monday 10th March – Monday of the 1st week of Lent
Reflection: Matthew 25: 31-46
JESUS IS ON THE STREETS!
One of the things that scare many of us greatly is the prospect of death and judgment. Each time we think of it, we are shaken to our bones as we imagine having to stand before God and give an account of our lives. Today’s reading gives us the only picture of judgment given by Christ in all the gospels. And to our surprise, it is not based on very “big” acts of piety or perfection. Rather it is based on the “little” acts of love we extend to others.
Jesus has given us a new commandment – love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34). While in the old covenant, God’s people were instructed to love others as their own selves, Jesus gives us a much higher calling: Love as I have loved you. And how did He love us? By laying down his life for us, hence calling us to lay down our lives for our brethren (1 John 3:16). As baptized Catholics, we are partakers of the new covenant in Christ Jesus and our identity is that of love; “By this all men will know that you are my disciples…” John 13:35.
Dear friends, in the midst of our increasingly secular and individualistic world, Jesus tell us to look around and see Him on the streets around us: in the poor, lonely, blind, homeless, sick, prisoners etc. He says to us in the Stations of the Cross: “seek me not in faraway places. I am very close to you. Your home, your working place, on the streets, the markets, at the playgrounds, these are altars where you offer love and I am there with you”. Let us look up to Him and ask for the grace to love especially during this season of self denial.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You have loved me so much. Please rid me of selfishness; help me to look out for those in need around me and extend your love to them. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 449- What significance do the poor have for Christians?
Love for the poor must be in every age the distinguishing mark of Christians. The poor deserve not just a few alms; they have a claim to justice. For Christians there is a special obligation to share their goods. Our example in love for the poor is Christ.
HIDE A TREASURE: “By this we know love that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” 1 John 3:16 RSV-CE
Readings for today: Leviticus 19: 1-2; 11-18; Psalm 19: 8-10, 15; Matthew 25: 31-46